Tuesday, 30 August 2016

GlobeIn Artisan Box Review - August 2016 - Eco-Lifestyle Subscription Box + PROMO CODE

This box was provided complimentary for review & this post contains affiliate links.
What is it? GlobeIn Artisan Gift Box
How Much? $40/month, $114/3months, $210/6months + $12 shipping per box. All prices in US dollars.
What’s in it? A themed collection of artisan-made products from around the world

Each month, GlobeIn delivers “the globe in a box” - a collection of artisan-made products from around the world, curated around a central theme. GlobeIn introduces you to products that you can feel good about - they are often organic, fair-trade, and support artisans and farmers from around the world.

Click here to see all my previous GlobeIn Gift Box reviews.

The theme for August is "Pamper".


Pamper yourself this month and greet the world with radiance. Your new kit arrives with a sense of silk, shine, and softness, and with the brush of cotton on freshly oiled skin...

With this month’s collection we invite you to connect with your glowing femininity while connecting with women around the world, whose skillful hands and bright persistence have brought these fine goods to your doorstep.

 First look!

Batik Boutique Hand Dyed Jewelry Roll ($30)
The fabric of your roll was hand-dyed through the ancient process of batik with toxic-free dye from the mangosteen fruit. Let its smartly designed compartments take the hassle of out of traveling with your jewelry.

The roll is made of cotton with faux leather trim. It's very cool and is great for travel. This is available for purchase from the GlobeIn shop.

Announce your outfit with a hip splash of design while treating your skin to something soft. Your scarf’s lightweight cotton and shape make it endlessly versatile and appropriate year-round.  
Subscribers had the option to choose between green or grey. I received green and I really like it. I wear a lot of black, grey, blue, and white so this green will add a pop of much needed colour. These are available from the GlobeIn Shop (2 for $40) in green, grey, and blue. Check them out here

The Argan Project Cosmetic Argan Oil (1oz, $18)
100% Pure Argan Oil is full of Vitamin E and composed almost entirely of essential fatty acids to hydrate face, skin, hair and nails. Argan oil has been shown to treat dry skin, prevent wrinkles and stretch marks, reduce acne and scars, and lock in moisture to keep hair and nails healthy. Argan oil is also used in massage therapy for soothing muscle and joint pain.
This oil is sustainably sourced and freshly pressed. Use it on skin, hair, nails, and face.

GlobeIn Signature Handwoven Basket from Mexico ($12)
I keep saying it, but these baskets are great for gifting. Use them instead of wrapping paper or gift bags. 

The August GlobeIn Artisan Box included four items, valued at $80 US. This box costs $52 US per month for Canadians, including shipping. The value is really great this month. The jewellery roll is beautiful and I love the green scarf.

Interested in trying GlobeIn's Artisan Box? New customers can use coupon code WELCOME to save $10 OFF a 3-month or longer Artisan Box subscription.

Click here to check out GlobeIn.

Disclaimer: Box information is correct as of posting date. As prices and terms are subject to change, please be sure to read the FAQ of this company before signing up.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Cate & Chloe VIP Review - August 2016 - Jewellery Subscription Box + PROMO CODE

This box was provided complimentary for review & this post contains affiliate links.
What is it? Cate & Chloe VIP
How Much? $19.99 to $39.99 per month. Save on longer terms. Shipping $9.99 per box. Prices in US dollars.
What’s in it? All packages comes with personalized jewellery based on your style and one bonus gift. 

Cate & Chloe VIP is a subscription box that sends a selection of jewellery items, chosen based on your style and preferences. Each month subscribers also receive a bonus gift, and exclusive discounts in the VIP Shop. There are three subscription options to choose from:
  • The Starter Package: $19.99 per month for one piece of jewellery.
  • Double the Fun: $$29.99 per month for two pieces of jewellery.
  • Full VIP Status: $39.99 per month for three pieces of jewellery. 

New subscribers take a VIP Style Quiz to help the Cate & Chloe stylists pick the perfect pieces. For even more customization, you can e-mail the team to specify your preferences, likes/dislikes, or any special jewellery requests that you might have!

This is a review for the Full VIP Status box.
First look!

Product Card

I love that Cate & Chloe sends the jewellery items in gift boxes. Most jewellery I get from subscriptions comes in fabric drawstring bags or little plastic pouches. The gift boxes add to the VIP feel of this subscription. Let's see what's inside...

Ashlyn Nature Double Strand Leaf Necklace ($89)
The most delightful mix of trendy and timeless. With 2 gold chains, one features a small leaf design topped off with a cultured pearl. This classic, delicate necklace is a new Cate & Chloe must-have and is sure to class up any outfit while showing off your fashion expertise. 
This necklace is gold plated with an 18" chain. I like the leaf design. 

Ashlyn Nature Pearl Leaf Earrings ($79)
The most delightful mix of trendy and timeless.A small leaf design topped off with a cultured pearl. This classic, delicate piece is a new Cate & Chloe must-have and is sure to class up any outfit while showing off your fashion expertise. 
Earrings to match the necklace! These are fish-hook style earrings, with no backing. They're cute!

Ashlyn Infinity Bracelet ($79)
This light, delicate bracelet features an infinity design, symbolizing endless love and friendship. The emblem is topped of with a single cultured pearl and another at the end of the chain for a timeless, classic look. The perfect gift for a mother, daughter, best friend, or any extra special lady in your life!
I love infinity symbols and what they represent. The bracelet matches the style of the necklace and earrings, but without the leaf charm.

Violet Love "Diana" Headband ($19)
This is the bonus gift for August. It's part of the "Black Label" headband line meaning it has slightly thicker and more absorbent fabric with a tighter stretch than the "Signature line".

My August Cate & Chloe VIP box contained three jewellery items, plus a bonus. Cate & Chloe's suggested retail value for the jewellery items is over $247 US, which I find quite inflated for costume jewellery. The quality is pretty good though and I really like Cate & Chloe's classic designs. This box costs $49.98 US for Canadians, including shipping. That works out to $12.50 per item, which is totally reasonable. 

Looking for a sneak preview for September?
Your royal highness, this upcoming September a special VIP box awaits!

In each VIP box, our newest jewelry collection that embraces sophistication and royalty will grace each box along with a light pink "Queen" crown smart phone wallet to help you take on the world.

Our September "Queen" VIP box reflects all the confidence you have to make it through any week, conquer any challenge, and go the extra mile to take charge of your own life. Whether in school, work or in every day life, radiate your confidence with style!

Subscribe by September 4th, and you will receive the September box. As a bonus, new subscribers can save 50% off their first month of any monthly Cate & Chloe subscription. This means you can get a Full Status VIP box for only $20, plus shipping. Code is valid until September 4th so act fast!

Click here to check out Cate & Chloe VIP.

Disclaimer: Box information is correct as of posting date. As prices and terms are subject to change, please be sure to read the FAQ of this company before signing up. 

Sunday, 28 August 2016

GlobeIn Benefit Basket Review - August 2016 - Eco-Lifestyle Subscription Box + PROMO CODE

This box was provided complimentary for review & this post contains affiliate links.
What is it? GlobeIn Benefit Basket
How Much? $19.95/month or $56.95/3 months. Additional $12 shipping per box. Prices in US dollars.
What’s in it? A handcrafted good nestled inside a handwoven basket

Each month, GlobeIn delivers the Artisan Gift Box, a collection of artisan-made products from around the world, curated around a central theme. From the GlobeIn Artisan Box, comes the GlobeIn Benefit Basket.
Think of it as a mini Artisan Box: a budget-friendly alternative for mindful consumers looking to discover crafted, distinct goods that empower remarkable artisans in remote regions of the world.

The Benefit Basket includes one incredible handcrafted good, inspired by the month's Artisan Box theme, delivered to you nestled inside GlobeIn's signature handwoven basket. Inside each Benefit Basket, you will also find a story about the artisan, their community, and how you are making an impact on their lives with your purchase.

Click here to see all my GlobeIn Artisan Box and Benefit Basket reviews.
First look

This month we received a necklace from Honduras. The coolest part is that it matches the Wave Cuff we received in the Limited Edition Jewelry Box. They are even made by the same artisan! 

This time I received a red handwoven palm leaf basket from Mexico. I don't think I have a red one yet. This basket is valued at $12. I've been using them for gifting. They make perfect "gift bags".

Tribe Alive Wishbone Necklace ($32)
This necklace was made in Honduras by a woman named Denia. She learned jewellery making while recovering from an illness in the US, then returned to Honduras and joined Mi Esperanza, an artisan collective. Tribe Alive partners with artisan collectives around the world, providing them a vital connection to the global marketplace.

Here is a close up of the brass wishbone pendant. The chain  is 16 inches long.

The July Benefit Basket included two items, valued at $44 US. This box costs $31.99 US, including shipping to Canada. The necklace is great and I love that it complements the bracelet form last month's jewellery box. The Benefit Basket is a great way to get a taste of what GlobeIn has to offer, at a lower cost than the Artisan Box. 
If you are interested in subscribing to the Benefit Basket, new customers can use coupon code TRYBENEFIT to save 35% off their first month's box with a purchase of a 3-month Benefit Basket subscription. That gives you $7 off, bringing your 3-month subscription down to $49.95, plus shipping.

Click here to check out GlobeIn Benefit Basket.

Disclaimer: Box information is correct as of posting date. As prices and terms are subject to change, please be sure to read the FAQ of this company before signing up.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Chef's Plate Review - August Week 3 - Canadian Meal Preparation Subscription Box + PROMO CODE

Canadian Box Addict pays for this subscription. This post contains referral links.
What is it? Chef's Plate
How Much? Starts at $49.80 per week, plus $6 delivery. Prices in Canadian dollars.
What’s in it? Fresh ingredients and delicious recipes delivered weekly to your door

Chef's Plate is a weekly meal delivery service that sends original gourmet recipes and pre-portioned farm-fresh ingredients so you can cook a fresh, healthy, and nutritionally balanced meal. Chef's Plate started in Toronto in 2014 and now ships to most major cities in Ontario, BC, Manitoba, and Alberta. They will be expanding to Quebec and the Maritimes in coming months.
Chef's Plate is putting Canadians back in the kitchen. By delivering easy-to-follow recipes and fresh pre-portioned ingredients right to your door, we take the guesswork out of cooking and have made food fun again! No more Sunday night grocery store lines, no more hunting for recipes – we handle everything so you can relax and enjoy the cooking experience! 

There are two plans available: The "2-Person Plan" includes market fresh meals for two and the "Family Plan" includes market fresh meals for four. Once you've selected your plan, decide if you'd like to receive 2, 3, or 4 recipes per week. Plans are priced per plate. For example, if you purchase a 2-Person Plan with two recipes per week, that's four plates. The "2-Person Plan" is $10.95 per plate (serving) and the "Family Plan" is $9.95 per plate. The weekly delivery fee is $6 per box. I subscribe to the "2-Person Plan" with two recipes per week, which is $55.80 per week with shipping. Prices are in Canadian dollars and there is no tax.

Chef's Plate has a great referral plan too. Once you're signed up, for every friend you refer, you get 2 plates free, and your friend gets their first 3 plates free. That means your friend (and you, if you keep reading to the bottom), can get your first week for only $16.95 (based on a 2-Person Plan with two recipes).

This is my second delivery, but it's the third week. Read my Week 1 review here. I skipped week two, partly because none of the recipes appealed to  me, and partly because I wasn't sure if I would be home to accept delivery. Delivery day for the Vancouver region is Tuesday. Boxes ship out via FedEx on Monday night. The food is packed in an insulated box with gel ice packs to keep everything cool. For those that reside in houses, you don't need to be home to accept delivery. FedEx will leave the box at your front door, or wherever you indicate (you can add special delivery instructions). Those in condos or secure buildings will need to be home to accept delivery, or make arrangements with a doorman or neighbour.

Recipes are released two weeks in advance and seven new recipes are available each week. There is typically one chicken dish, one beef dish, one pork, turkey, or fish dish, and three vegetarian dishes. At least one dish will be gluten free and at least one will be dairy free. You can see upcoming menus here. You can select your preferred dishes, or skip the week. If you don't make a selection, Chef's Plate will choose for you, so be sure to login and select your weekly meals! You can skip as many times as you want, or cancel any time.

The ingredients are locally sourced from Canadian producers. Vegetables are farm fresh, and arguably fresher than you would get from a supermarket. Meats are antibiotic and hormone free. Ingredients are designed to remain fresh up to five days after delivery. Items should be refrigerated as soon as the box is unpacked. Fish dishes should be cooked within two days of delivery, to ensure freshness.

 My first pick for Week 3 was Fish Taquitos
Back by popular demand our fish and sweet potato taquitos with are loaded with all the fixings, inspired by the markets of Puebla. The flaky basa fillets are cooked in Mexican chilli powder and loaded into fresh flour tortillas and served with creamy guacamole and tomato salsa.

Something new I noticed this week is full ingredients and nutrition facts. This label is affixed to the back of each meal bag. This is a nice feature! 

For Fish Taquitos we have tortillas, sweet potatoes, avocado, two basa filets, Mexican Chili Powder, a garlic glove, cilantro, yellow tomatoes, a shallot, a red tomato, and a lime. Chef's Plate sends all the ingredients required, aside from oil, salt, and pepper.  

The recipe is 8x11, full colour, double sided. There are step by step directions with pictures. This is considered a "medium" level recipe, but you don't need to be a chef to use Chef's Plate. Basic cooking skills are an asset, but not necessary.

Step one is always "Read the entire recipe card". That makes me laugh. I don't know how many times I've rushed through a recipe and realized I missed a step or ingredient. Next, each recipe starts with prepping the "mise en place", which simply means putting  everything in its place, or having all your ingredients prepared and ready to go. Since the ingredients are pre-portioned, all you need to do is rinse and chop!  

Let's talk about this avocado. When I took it out of the bag, it felt really soft. I was worried it was overripe and would be brown inside. I cut it open and was quite surprised to see that it was perfect. It's hard to get a perfectly ripe avocado when you need it! 

After the veggie chopping was done, I set to cooking the sweet potato, which was very easy. 

While the sweet potato cooked, I mixed together the salsa and guacamole. 

I didn't get a picture of the fish cooking, but it was very quick and simple - just a quick pan fry, 2-3 minutes per side. One critique is that I didn't have enough Mexican Chili Powder to nicely coat both sides of the fish pieces. I went to my spice cabinet and used some taco seasoning to finish it up.

Up next - assemble the taquitos. This was easy. There were six tortillas, so I just divided the fish and sweet potatoes between them. 

To make them into taquitos, instead of tacos, roll tightly and quickly brown in a frying pan. 

Top with salsa and guacamole and that's it! 

I really enjoyed this meal. I don't often cook fish at home because it kind of scares me. This dish was so easy and I realized I should not be afraid of fish. The flavours were fresh and bold. Typically when I cook Mexican inspired food I need cheese or sour cream. This dish didn't need anything extra. If you wanted to extend the meal for left overs or to serve three, add a salad or bean side dish and serve two taquitos per person instead of three.  

My second pick was Pork Steamed Buns.
Bursting with savoury pork filling, these soft and fluffy steamed buns deliver big flavour! Stir-fried ginger pork is tossed in a black bean sauce and complimented with pickled radishes and cucumbers. You win some you "dim sum" with this recipe!

I was super excited about this one. I love steamed buns. I dubbed this recipe "Asian Sloppy Joes". 

For Pork Steamed Buns we have six buns, green onions, cucumbers, radishes,  Gochugaru powder (Korean red pepper), black bean paste, pureed ginger, cider vinegar, sugar, and ground pork. Again, I only needed to supply oil, salt, and pepper. One critique here is that the small paper sugar packet was thrown into the bag with the other ingredients. A lot of moisture develops in the bag, so the sugar packet was nearly destroyed. It probably should have been placed into a small plastic zip bag for protection. 

This is an "easy" level recipe and takes only about 25 minutes to prepare.

There are two parts to this recipe. One is the pickled veggies. I recently started doing "quick pickles" with my Asian dishes and salads. It's super easy, and takes hardly any time. This recipe calls for cider vinegar, sugar, and a bit of water. Just bring it to a quick boil, then remove from the heat and let it sit while preparing the rest of the dinner. 

 The second part of the recipe is the meat. Throw it in a pan with the seasonings and cook. That's it!

To steam the buns, Chef's Plate suggests placing a metal colander over a pot of boiling water. I used a steamer basket instead, because I have one. Use whatever you have to get the job done! When the buns steam, they puff up and become very soft. 

Assembly is easy. Meat and pickles. That's it. Serve the remaining pickles on the side as a salad. 

G and I loved this dish. The meat was so good with just a hint of spiciness. I loved the quick pickles. The buns were delicious - slightly sweet, soft and chewy. I really want to create this dish again so I'm hoping I can find frozen steamed buns like this at T&T market. We each had three little sandwiches and it was just enough food. Our appetites were satisfied, although we would have loved some left overs.

Once again, I was really pleased with my Chef's Plate experience. The meals were very tasty, and I would definitely cook both recipes again. They were quick and easy, which is perfect for after a long day of work. I like that Chef's Plate gives you everything you need, with minimal food waste. I'm terrible for throwing out produce because I don't use it. I strongly suspect that Chef's Plate is actually saving me money, from less eating out and less food waste. I need to look into this theory more! I know some people are concerned about the amount of packaging waste, but everything is reusable or recyclable. Even the gel ice packs are recyclable. PMD Recycling has a monthly drop off depot near my house, so soft plastics (bags, etc) that can't go in my blue bin go there. If your local city recycling program doesn't accept soft plastics, check for a company in your area that takes those items (PMD also takes Styrofoam, foil packets, and loads more).

I've already selected my meals for the next two weeks. For August 23rd delivery I picked Korean Steak Stir-Fry and Lemon Pepper Chicken.

For August 30th delivery, I selected a Pork Spring  Roll Bowl and Avocado & Black Bean Tostados. You may notice a trend. I'm all about Mexican, Asian, and... chicken. 

Keep an eye out for upcoming reviews. I'm not sure I can keep up with reviewing every week, but I will sure try.

If you are interested in trying Chef's Plate, you can get your first THREE plates for FREE! That's a $33 savings. Simply use my referral link here, or enter my referral code #3platesFromcdnboxaddict in the promo code section at checkout. On a "2-Person 2 recipe plan", your first week will only be $10.95, plus $6 shipping. After that you can continue with your subscription, skip as many weeks as you want, or cancel.

Click here to check out Chef's Plate.

Disclaimer: Box information is correct as of posting date. As prices and terms are subject to change, please be sure to read the FAQ of this company before